Bands, festivals and the lot are releasing branded booze by the dozens these days. GRIMM makes it its mission to get to the bottom (of the bottle) of this trend with insightful reviews and extra backgrounds. So sit back, PICK YOUR POISON, and discover all you need to know about your favorite band's alcoholic brands!
Let's return to our home country Belgium for our next tasting. And today's poison is 100% Belgian. We have the bulldozer band Your Highness, hailing from Antwerp, who is growing in popularity with good reason as this sludge outfit is taking the Belgian stages by storm. Combine this with the Vleesmeester Brewery from Boechout (close to Antwerp), a small brewery who combines their personal interest in the Belgian cultural scene with a refined taste in beer. We present you 'Hoogheid', a beer named after the final track on the band's debut album Cults 'N' Cunts (2011).
Poured in our glass we have a firm, long lasting white head on top of a hazy orange beer. There was some yeast sediment from the bottom that slipped into our glass causing it to have a slightly cloudy appearance. The mouth feel is quite full for a Belgian blond and has low to medium carbonation. The aroma is fruity with mostly tropical yellow fruits like mango or pineapple. The first sip is less strong than expected. The 9% ABV does not push through at all. The bitterness appears only later on and is quite mild. In between you have the fruitiness returning with a wealth of different esters. We sense tropical fruits, mandarin, dried peaches and somewhere some 'peperkoek' or spiced cake. The beer has a beautiful balance between the spicy sweetness and its light bitterness.
While doing our research for the beer we got confused because the pre-2016 version of the beer was termed 'Hoogheid IPA'. While the beer definitely has a hoppy touch near the end, we didn't want to go as for as labeling it as an (imperial) IPA. So since we always go to the bottom of the bottle for our investigations we inquired with Vleesmeester Brewery themselves. They were so kind to shed some light on the issue:
This beer is originally brewed for the release of the 2014 split album of Your Highness and Hedonist, where it was poured for the first time. Your Highness took our recipe to 't Hofbrouwerijke to produce the beer on a larger scale and distributed it under the name of Hoogheid IPA.
Because of the large success and since the gentlemen of Your Highness didn't want to remain brewers they inquired if we wanted to continue this project. We had it brewed by 't Hofbrouwerijke once more after which we transferred to brewery Anders! to acquire a somewhat larger production scale. Here Hoogheid is still being brewed.
Because the style of IPA did not quite fit this beer in our opinion - and we actually still think it is difficult to label it with a specific style - we decided to omit this from the name. IPA's are linked mostly to hoppy and dry beer and Hoogheid is more than that. Hoogheid has the hoppiness of an IPA, but still also features a full body that some IPA’s ‘Belgian Strong Ales’ have. So the truth is somewhere in between, but there is no exact style description for this.